The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined Prince Harry and other senior royals this evening at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. The presentation celebrated the Queen's 90 years via performances and narration that chronicled the monarch's life.
I had hoped that the Cambrigdes would make an appearance at a more informal, day-time event and wander about on green lawns and the like, but we had to settled for this evening stadium appearance. Something, as they say, is better than nothing.
Kate wore a white lace Dolce & Gabbana dress and a red swing coat by Zara. The comparisons to maternity wear have already been made, and I can't say they aren't justified. Obviously, Kate is not trying to hid anything here, since we know she gets quite sick long before she starts to show, but the bulky silhouette certainly looks like something that would suit the Duchess around month five. Clearly Kate was paying tribute to the Windsor uniform:
The term Windsor uniform is the name of a type of dress worn by male members of the Royal Family (and very senior courtiers) at Windsor Castle. The uniform was introduced by George III in 1779. The full dress, which had a good deal of gold braid about it, did not survive beyond 1936, but the undress form is still worn today: a dark blue jacket with red facings. It is now worn only at Windsor Castle, and since the reign of King Edward VII has generally been worn only as evening dress (though Charles, Prince of Wales has worn a version of it as a riding coat).Both Harry and William were sporting the traditional ensemble, and I love that Kate chose to echo the colors, but I wish she has chosen a different dress with which to do it.
Let's start with the dress. It is a white lace in a the peasant style that was very popular circa 2005. Kate has continued her obvious attraction to ruffles with this dress's thick hemline. The frock is over $5,000 from one of fashion's best known brands, but I can't help feeling that at the best of times this is just a little too fussy and a little too dated. It frankly makes me think of Charles Dickens' Miss Havisham, swathed in her lace curtains and stuck in the past as she broods alone in her deserted mansion. Not a great association for youthful duchess.
I am trying to think of a scenario in which I would like this dress. The midi length is in keeping with a number of Kate's recent choices and it is a length I have approved and found flattering, but where other pieces have excelled by staying trim and simple, this dress fails in attempting to be too much.
To make matters worse, Kate paired this with a 60's style swing coat. Swing coats can be cutting edge chic or lightly disastrous and tonight's pairing regrettably veered toward the latter. To really pull off a swing coat, with its flaring silhouette, you need the rest of the ensemble to be simple and structured.
This Zara coat is gorgeous on its own and would pair beautifully with skinny jeans are a pencil skirt. If you really wanted to live life on the dangerous side, you could put it with a full skirt in a simple pattern or color. Obviously the Dolce that burst out from beneath the jacket in a profusion of ruffled lace was...overwhelming.
Kate was wearing her diamond chandelier drops borrowed from the Queen and she was carrying what appears to be her black Prada clutch debuted on tour. Both fit well with her color scheme an the event.
Verdict. This is a miss. The jacket is cute and would look great with her Zara crops or any number of simpler dresses or skirts, but paired with this frou-frou Dolce, I am shaking my head. I don't think the dress can win no matter the mix. The busy lace pattern in bland white, presented in this bunched and bulky style, is unlikely to ever garner an approving nod from yours truly. I hope we don't see this one again. That being said, she did match her husband and brother-in-law, both of whom were seated just a ways down from her, and any Kate appliance is a pleasure.
|British Royal News|